United of no interest to Klopp

Liverpool have spent heavily this year on transfers, splashing more than £200 million (S$357 million) on signings, including for Naby Keita (left) and Fabinho (right).
Liverpool have spent heavily this year on transfers, splashing more than £200 million (S$357 million) on signings, including for Naby Keita (left) and Fabinho (right).PHOTOS: REUTERS

German shrugs off mind games by Mourinho, says his main goal is to deliver for 'ambitious' Liverpool

CHICAGO • Jurgen Klopp has laughed off suggestions by Jose Mourinho that Liverpool's transfer spending spree meant that the club faced greater pressure to win the English Premier League title.

Liverpool have spent heavily this year as they attempt to close the gap on champions Manchester City, splashing out more than £200 million (S$357 million) for Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Virgil van Dijk.

Manchester United manager Mourinho said last week that Liverpool's transfer activity ought to increase expectation and end a "three-decade wait" for the title.

Klopp, whose Liverpool side took on United in Michigan yesterday (this morning, Singapore time) as part of the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament, shrugged off the remarks on Friday.

"I heard he was smiling when he said it and he found it funny, so I'm really happy that Jose's smiling - it doesn't happen a lot of times," Klopp told reporters in Ann Arbor.

"What can I say about that? Jose can say what he wants to say. I'm not too much interested in Manchester United. I'm pretty sure they will do business as well.

MOODY MOURINHO

I heard he was smiling when he said it and he found it funny, so I'm really happy that Jose's smiling - it doesn't happen a lot of times...

JURGEN KLOPP , Liverpool manager, on his United counterpart Jose Mourinho's remarks that Pool's spending spree means greater pressure to win the EPL.

"We feel responsible only for our fans, for our owners, for the supporters all over the world, nobody else.

"We are ambitious. We have to deliver - what that means exactly, I don't know in this moment.

"But a big part of the job is to play football that our people like. That happened last year, and now we are in the situation where we want to make the next step.

"But our life is not easier just because we brought a few players in. We only feel a bit better prepared than last year. That's all."

For the first time since Liverpool's Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in May, Klopp spoke about Sergio Ramos acting like a "brutal wrestler" when injuring Mohamed Salah in Kiev.

The German accused Real captain Ramos of deliberately targeting Salah, insisting that the Spaniard's history of controversy requires greater scrutiny.

"If you watch it back and you are not with Real Madrid, you'd think it is ruthless and brutal," he said.

"In a situation like that, somebody needs to judge it better. If VAR (video assistant referee) is coming, then it is a situation where you have to look again. It was ruthless.

"I'm not sure it is an experience we will have again - go there and they put your goalscorer down like a wrestler in midfield and then they win the game. That was the story of their game.

"If you put all of the situations of Ramos together, then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos.

"The year before against Juventus, he was responsible for the red card for (Juan) Cuadrado. Nobody talks about that afterwards. It is like the world out there accepts that you use weapons to win the game."

United, meanwhile, are ready to sell Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian to help to fund their purchase of Harry Maguire.

They are conscious that Maguire's value has gone up since his excellent performances at the World Cup for England. It could end up costing the club £65 million to sign the Leicester City centre-back.

Darmian is pushing to depart Old Trafford because of a lack of game time.

"To play for probably the best club in the world is a good thing and, for me, it's an honour to play for Manchester United," the Italian said. "But we have to take decisions in our life and this is my decision."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 29, 2018, with the headline 'United of no interest to Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe